Om Malik on the need for an asynchronous life
A recent blog post by Om Malik, shared after seven days offline, serves as a good reminder to not get sucked into what he calls ‘the hive’:
I am not plugged into the hive, not influenced by the collective thinking. I am not reacting to what is happening elsewhere. There is no fear of missing out. There is just life, not networked. The networked life, we so bitterly complain about is because it slowly robs us of individuality.
Individuality means independent thinking. The networked hive mind is a popularity contest. Like, retweet, share — these are apostles of popularity and all things popular eventually devolve, or are forgotten. The hive mind, which people have described as a beautiful collective is now just a mob. Sometimes the mob is Arab spring, but mostly it is a reinforcement of your own biases and negativity in the cloak of anonymity.
We all know that there is a better way to spend time than endlessly immersing ourselves in news and social media. It’s not that we should disengage entirely. But we need to become content with not knowing everything; not always being up-to-date.
Does it matter if we miss the latest bombshell about how disastrous Brexit may prove to be? Or Donald Trump’s more recent awful tweet?
We end up living in an endless state of being wound up, angry, and even developing hatred within us. And then we’re no use to anyone if that’s our fuel.
Stepping away, particularly in these days we’re living in, may be the most important habit we can all develop.